Mozilla has expressed its surprise over Microsoft's decision to drop support for Windows XP in the Internet Explorer 9 web browser.
Microsoft believes IE9 should be for modern operating systems only, like Windows 7 and Windows Vista, and has refrained from releasing the web browser for its 10 year old OS, which has the largest PC OS market share in the world.
The company claims that Windows XP is incapable of supporting the hardware acceleration features that come with Internet Explorer 9. Hardware acceleration allows web browsers to use a computer's CPU and GPU hardware for rendering web pages and running graphic intensive web apps like games and video.
Mozilla's director for Firefox, Johnathan Nightingale, said, “For me, the most interesting thing is not the quibbling about what browser [boasts] full hardware acceleration. What surprises me the most is that acceleration is not available for Windows XP.”
Mozilla's newest web browser Firefox 4 comes with hardware acceleration feature as well, but the company claims that it has managed to embed partial hardware acceleration capabilties into the Windows XP version of Firefox 4, which uses the Direct3D API.
“By our count, Windows XP still accounts for 40% to 50% of the Web. Our obligation is to the users, and Windows XP is not a part we can cut out,” he said.